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If you want to sit at this table with other Students' Union elected officials, get your nomination package in by 2 p.m. Sept. 30.
Darius Clinton/the Gauntlet

Student byelection nearing

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From developing academic policy to meeting Den buddies, students looking for ways to get involved on campus have an opportunity with the upcoming student government election.

The University of Calgary Students' Union byelection will be held Oct. 20 to 22. Interested students must hand in their nomination package by Sept. 30.

Positions include one operations and finance commissioner, a Students' Legislative Council position open to all students, and faculty representatives for kinesiology, social work, veterinary medicine, engineering and law, who sit on the Students' Academic Assembly.

"It's a really good way to connect with other students, even if you don't win," said SU vice-president academic Meg Martin. "Going around and even getting people to sign your nomination package is a good way to figure out what people are feeling about their education here at the U of C."

Martin, who is serving her fourth term on the SU, said she initially ran because she was interested in sitting on student appeals committees and representing humanities students, who she felt were underrepresented.

"Being on the SU offers you a community on campus and a lot of power, if you use it correctly, to make a difference."

Martin said holding an elected position is a great way to develop professionally and, for students who want to run in the general election next semester, the byelection is great practice.

As well as developing academic policy, this year's faculty representatives, who work closely with Martin, will concentrate on open access publishing, academic appeals and academic integrity, as well as help to organize the undergraduate research symposium, sit on committees to decide teaching excellence awards and participate in the SU's governance review.

Alastair MacKinnon, a former SU executive and this year's chief returning officer, said students should not only run because the SU makes important decision on their behalf, but because they will meet great people and have the opportunity to make up to $400 a month.

"For the op-fi position you need to get 150 signatures, or to be [a] faculty representative you need to get either 150 signatures or the signatures of 20 per cent of the students in your faculty -- because some faculties don't have 150 people," said MacKinnon.

Nomination packages can be turned in from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sept. 28, 29 and 30 at the SU office, MacEwan Student Centre room 251.

Campaign grants are available.

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